We are now in Bonnie Scotland and the road up has been the long way up, taking our time to visit many of the top UK tourist spots on the way.

The main reason that we are here in Scotland is our that our close friend Catherine is also celebrating her 60th, like us, this year and said she was having a ‘house party’ in Dumfries.

So, party in mind, we left Harrogate and tarts galore, heading to the stunning area of the Yorkshire Dales and a lovely town called Settle. We arrived after a relatively easy drive to our new campsite and, as there was still time - and David was eager - we headed off to yet another viaduct. The cycle was a round 24 miles, but for some reason our legs were heavy, and the beauty of the countryside really did have to buoy us along. Upon reaching the viaduct, I decided that the view I had from the roadside with a chocolate ice-cream was enough and that I didn’t have to partake in the full-on bridge experience!

The beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

It was a long but delightful cycle.

Ribblehead Viaduct - David’s drone shot does it justice.

A Yorkshire institution- and the chocolate ice-cream was good as well!

The next day was spent easily in the market town of Settle, just wandering and taking in the delightful flowerpot installations around the town, created for the summer months - absolutely charming.

Settle’s lovely flowerpot displays. The plaque and the little flower pots are particularly significant.

A more elaborate design.

Mr Plod looking after us all in Settle.

Wednesday saw us head further north-west as we headed to the ever-popular Lake District. For this we had chosen, or more likely snapped up what was available, Lake Coniston and a very large but efficient Camping and Caravan site just near the lake. My drive in was OK, until we got so very close to the site and it being a lovely day, the A roads narrowed down with parked cars for the lake and walking. Eventually, just five minutes away according to our Sat-Nav, I bottled it on a small stone-wall hump-back bridge, with a stream of cars facing me… over to you David!

Lake Coniston - a busy day in the sun for everyone.

Lovely Swallows and Amazon boat trip - where the books were based.

Unfortunately for us, the campsite was a ‘pick your own spot site’ (unusually) and eventually after four tours of duty around the various spots, we made our decision and got Buster parked up in the shade and relatively level, but a good way away from the lake. To be fair, no-one had an absolutely stunning view of the lake from the campsite and for us, with no children or dogs the path to the nearest pub was of more importance!

The long way up was not only to Scotland, but also the long way up to the top of the Old Man of Coniston. Not sure why it’s called that, but to our mind it was how you felt when you got to the top! To be fair, it was only an 8 mile walk but the degree of climb was difficult, add in the heat, then the three hours it took to get to the top really wasn’t so bad.  Given my dislike of heights and sheer drops, we were both even more amazed to have made it to the top, where of course sheep just nimbly hopped on the rock face from stone to stone, defying life and limb. The Ship Inn at the bottom was a life saver, as was the simple but deliciously cooked food, before we hobbled our way back to the shade and cool of the campsite.

Old Man of Coniston - who’s idea was this again?!

An amazing natural air con system - a disused mine shaft giving out beautiful cold air.

Nearly there.

The Long Way up - new friend with me.

Leaving the Lake District on the Friday was a nightmare. The A-road out was blocked both ways within minutes and we had no choice but to inch our way along past the variety of other vehicles. We finally got to Morrisons at Penrith and both needed a caffeine/cake injection to settle our nerves. But that said, Covid or not, this is one of the busiest travel times of the year.

On arriving in Scotland, we found a lovely spot on Kirk Loch, Lochmaben which quickly soothed our nerves. We watched the swans and cygnets moving in and out of the water, with the sun setting at the far side of the loch, while we – and Buster - cooled down before bed.

Lochmaben - lovely spot

David got to play a round of golf at the nearby course.

Me and Buster parked across the loch watching on.

Next week we’ll be celebrating a whole bunch of 60th birthdays and exploring more of Bonnie Scotland in Buster.

Moon at Sandyhills.